Friday, May 22, 2015

Rise and Shine: Mystery Artifact Revealed!

We had some really clever guesses for this week's mystery artifact!

The lidded pail can be clamped to the edge of a table for stability, and the handle attaches to a mixing hook on the interior (which is visible - but hard to see - in the photo below):

Readers' guesses included butter churn, ice cream maker, and popcorn stirrer - all good guesses as to this object's function!  However, Penny had the correct answer.  This object is an early bread machine.

Directions on the lid of the pail direct users to:
"Put in all liquids first, then flour.  Turn three minutes.  Rise in pail.  After raising, turn until dough forms a ball.  Take off crosspiece.  Lift out dough with kneader.  Cover with this [the lid] when raising."

After the dough had risen, the breadmaker would then divide the dough between loaf pans and bake the bread.

Our bread maker, Universal Bread Maker No. 4 - as you can see below, was awarded a gold medal at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition.  The text on the medallion also gives the makers' names (Landers, Frary, & Clark) and location in New Britain, Connecticut.

Patent information is also listed under a tab (which, sadly, has become frozen over time, making photography difficult)!

A bread machine similar to the one from our collection is listed in the 1922 edition of the Montgomery Ward Catalogue.  The advert describes the Majestic Bread Maker as the "easiest, quickest, and surest way of preparing perfect bread."

I do love their claim that the "work is done with scientific accuracy, thoroughly and evenly, producing bread that is firm, light, white and free from unbroken starch cells"!  I'm sure Alton Brown would be proud!

The museum will be switching to our summer hours (open 10am to 5pm) on Memorial Day so come on over to see our Universal Bread Maker No. 4 in person!

Thanks for guessing, faithful readers, and enjoy your holiday weekend!

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